New York has announced the release of its COVID-19 vaccine travel pass, are you here for it? I have a feeling that if things get worse, a travel pass might become mandatory, especially here in NY. Today, Thursday, August 5, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state's new Excelsior Pass Plus. New York residents who sign up for and utilize the Excelsior Pass Plus will be able to use the digital platform to show business proof of their vaccination. It will also be accepted where SMART Health Cards are used for travelers.

Governor Cuomo is touting the pass as a tool to help the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic quicker,

Excelsior Pass has enabled New Yorkers to get back to the people and things they love, helping drive our economic recovery in the process. Excelsior Pass Plus will advance this even further, and is part of our broad commitment to securely take our vaccination verification efforts to the next level. From Day 1, we have said that the question of 'public health or the economy' is a false choice - it is and must always be both, and as we continue to follow the science to remain ahead of the pandemic, we will continue to innovate our tools to ensure that New Yorkers and New York businesses thrive.

According to the Governor's website, benefits of the Excelsior Pass Plus:

- Provides same info s a CDC Vaccination Card and is just as valid
- More confidential and secure than a physical card, which can be lost or stolen
- Verified by New York State
- Digital, for added convenience
- Widespread, global partnerships offer greater travel ability

If you want to sign up for the Excelsior Pass Plus, you can do so by visiting the Governor's website here.

Is Governor Cuomo Considering Mandatory Vaccine Policy for New York

Knowing how tough New York State and Governor Cuomo have been when it comes to stopping the spread of COVID-19, I can see NY eventually mandating the vaccine as much as it can and requiring the Excelsior Pass Plus to do things in public. According to the Hudson Valley Post, on Monday, August 2, 2021, he said,

Everybody is talking about mask policies right now, but I don't believe a mask policy is going to be enough - we need to talk about a vaccination policy.

Although more than 70 percent of the people in the state have received at least one vaccine dose, with the rapid spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, it's looking like more drastic measures could be enacted. You can read more here.

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